Hawthorn Indigenous players Chad Wingard, Jarman Impey, Mathew Walker and Harry Pepper along with CEO Justin Reeves and GM – Football Graham Wright spent time in the north-east of Tasmania with the team of the recently established wukalina walk. 

The wukalina walk is a three-night, four-day guided walk across the rugged natural beauty of the wukalina and larapuna areas, the spiritual heartland of the palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) peoples. The walk is a genuine cultural experience designed to deepen visitors understanding of palawa culture and community history.

The Hawks players and staff were hosted by palawa guides who shared the history and culture of the palawa people through palawa creation stories, a traditional smoking ceremony and by sharing Indigenous local food including saltbush leaves straight off the bush as well as fire-cooked scallops, wallaby salami, king fish, damper, oysters and crayfish.

As part of the targets set out in its Reconciliation Action Plan, Hawthorn Football Club is working towards building a partnership with the wukalina walk that will include a cultural awareness training as well as a business mentoring program between the two organisations. 

Hawthorn Football Club has conducted business in Tasmania, on the traditional lands of the palawa peoples, since 2001. A partnership between wukalina walk and Hawthorn provides an opportunity for the club to meaningfully give back to the palawa people who own and operate the wukalina walk. 

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said the partnership is an exciting step forward for the club’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

“We’re really proud of our connection to Tasmania and we are lucky to spend a lot of time in the region,” said Reeves.

“It is important to the club that we are authentically connected across all communities in Tasmania and Indigenous culture is a really important part of Tasmania’s past, present and future.

“We’re excited to see what the future of a partnership with the wukalina walk holds. This week we’ve taken in the sights of this amazing camp, we’ve learnt a lot about the history and traditions of the palawa people and had some magnificent traditional food.

“We are looking forward to getting back down here with more of our players, coaches and staff to build their understanding of and connection to the Indigenous history and culture of Tasmania."